Short film consultation, proposal development and copywriting for ESPN + WNBA film ideas and Net Worth full-length documentary proposal. Short film was screened at Seattle International Film Festival in 2014.
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ESPN + WNBA / Four Documentary Film Ideas
I’m Lane Stroud, a Seattle-based documentary filmmaker. In response to ESPN’s continuing interest in high-quality film, and the recent commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, I’d like to present four documentary film ideas about the WNBA for your review and consideration.
Over a year ago, I contacted the Seattle Storm about my interest in making a film about the WNBA, and began a series of conversations with Storm CEO Karen Bryant. During the extended development and permission process, my interest and focus broadened from the history of the Storm to the current positioning of the WNBA within American sports, and the way that rising levels of play and new leadership are changing the game.
I have an active working relationship with Maya Moore and Sue Bird’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, who along with Moore and her family, I met while filming Euroleague action in Spain this winter. Kagawa Colas and Moore have both granted me access to Moore’s story and personal footage from her formative years.
I’ve also met with WNBA President Laurel Richie, who has agreed to allow me to include her story, and has offered rights to WNBA footage. I’m in good standing with USA Basketball and have footage of the 2012 Olympic team, specifically focused on Maya Moore, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Coach Auriemma.
I’ve got great access, extensive preliminary footage and necessary legal representation, and strongly feel that ESPN is where these stories belong. I looking forward to discussing the possibilities in more detail, and appreciate your consideration.
Maya Moore - Her rise to stardom, and how her fame is changing the game.
The first female athlete to be endorsed by the elite Jordan brand, Moore possesses a rare talent and something else very few of her peers experience – fame among mainstream audiences who otherwise couldn’t care less about women’s basketball.
How will she leverage this advantage this winter by playing in China, a priority market for the Jordan/Nike brand? How does her star power affect the new president Laurel Richie’s stated goal of turning the WNBA into a world class business?
Armed with a video camera throughout her formative years, Moore has volunteered first-ever access to hundreds of hours of personal footage. Combined with extensive on-court footage, this story has classic biopic appeal: a star is born, and she’s a gamechanger.
Sue Bird - She shoots to win, and 10 years later, is still doing it better.
Starting point guard for the Seattle Storm and 2012 Olympic team, Bird came into the league at a time when the point guard did one thing – pass.
Yet her shooting ability and versatility inspired a new generation of point guards. How has the changing of the point guard position affected the rising levels of play, and the evolution of professional women’s basketball?
This story highlights athletic prowess, and allows sports-minded viewers to engage with women’s basketball as though legitimacy is a foregone conclusion.
Seattle Storm - The team that saved itself, and continues to lead the league.
In 2008, four businesswomen and season ticket holders came together to buy the Seattle Storm and save it from moving to Oklahoma with their NBA counterpart, the Sonics.
It was the unique elements of the Storm community – intense fan loyalty, CEO expertise and superstars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson – that gave the Force 10 ownership group the confidence to step forward and buy a sports franchise on the brink of exportation. The Storm has become a model of independent ownership, and was the first women-owned sports franchise in US history to win a national championship in 2010.
This is a story of redemption and leadership – the team that not only could, but did.
Tamika Catchings - Tough love turned team captain. (Thanks for the lead, ESPN.)
Captain of the 2012 Olympic basketball team, Catchings sees her hearing loss not as an impairment but the reason for her success. As a young girl she was tired of being teased and threw her clunky hearing aids into a field. Her parents refused to buy her another pair.
So she sits in the front row in the classroom, asks a lot of questions, and starts playing basketball. Because she can’t rely on her hearing, she develops a near sixth sense. She is so observant on the court, she is able to see things almost before they happen. She excels in college, in the WNBA and on the Olympic Team.
This is a story of liability turned leg up, and an opportunity for viewers to engage with a flawed character whose success was not given, but earned.